Students partake in online retreats, Kairos

Campus+Ministry+retreats%2C+including+the+junior+one%2C+are+taking+place+virtually+this+year+as+well+as+Kairos+and+MLCs.

Leo Magnaye '05

Campus Ministry retreats, including the junior one, are taking place virtually this year as well as Kairos and MLCs.

Ethan Vargas ‘23, Staff Reporter

 Retreats are a time to meditate and reflect on one’s life and to share with others in a group setting to discuss God’s role in our lives. As with many activities this school year, the Riordan retreats have gone virtual, including the Fall Senior Kairos retreat. 

Yet, that hasn’t stopped students from signing up. In fact, according to Alex Datoc ’87, Director of Campus Ministry, 19 seniors attended the Fall Kairos retreat. 

Naturally, an in-person experience is not the same as a virtual experience. Datoc said, “The spiritual component in a virtual retreat is very different. We cannot have a mass and receive the Eucharist and we cannot have the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  We have to think of activities, reflections that make them aware of God’s presence through communion and confession but our activities and reflections do not take the place of a Sacrament.” 

Nevertheless, students still gained valuable experience in this Kairos retreat. Datoc said, “The virtual retreat was very impactful for the seniors who attended, so much that the retreat leaders, parents and outsiders were amazed that the retreat turned out so well.” 

Jonathan Torrea ’21 commented,

Because we were simply behind our computer screens again, it felt like another day of school. But by the end of it, I felt like I got just as much of a Kairos experience as past years.”

— Johnathan Torrea '21

 So far, Campus Ministry has hosted five retreats this year: The Faculty and Staff Retreat, the local Marianist LIFE retreat, the first Sophomore and Junior retreats of the year, and the Fall Senior Kairos Retreat. Each of them have proven to be very successful, so students do have a lot to look forward to in upcoming retreats. 

According to JP Cayabyab ’21, “Even though most of the physical aspects of Kairos were lost to the circumstances of the current world, the intangible emotions and feelings that came with it were still communicated to the participants. Kairos this year did not fail to deliver its emotions and sensations.”

While it’s uncertain when Riordan will transition back to in-person retreats, and seeing how the number of COVID-19 cases are on the rise, Datoc feels that “It doesn’t look like we are going to in-person retreats anytime soon, but it is good to know that ARHS is leading the way in providing a very good virtual retreat for the community.”